I am not even sure if I am going to be able to complete this post. I found out this morning that my very ill brother David is much worse off than anyone was letting on. He hasn’t been able to keep anything down for weeks, is extremely frail, covered in sores, his arms are legs are inflamed, and has been denied from every Dr in his area because he is jobless (He can’t work in that condition), and has no insurance. He applied for assistance from the state, but was also denied because he has not had a specialist diagnose him. He cannot get a proper diagnosis because he cannot get into a Dr. He cannot get into a Dr because he does not have insurance or a job. What. The. FUCK??? His wife is due with their second child, and was recently put on bed rest due to complications in her pregnancy. My older brother Eric, who lives right down the street from David, has been assisting in taking care of their 5 year old daughter, all the while helping support my ill sister Mary, and running his own company. Needless to say, when it comes to genetics, my family got the short end of the stick. Well, at least all of my dad’s kids.
I spoke with Mary earlier, and she updated me on what was going on. David is moving to Arizona TODAY, in fact has already left, and is driving a Uhaul 12 hours to get there. My sick brother. Who has sores all over his feet. A flare of what is obviously discoid lupus, as well as systematic lupus, and possibly rheumatoid arthritis as well; He is expected to drive his home packed in a giant box on wheels, his wife, and his 5 yr old daughter 12 hours to AZ without dying. Needless to say, we are all terrified. We are terrified he will pass out while driving. That his joint will lock up, and he will lose control of the vehicle. That he will have a severe flare, a seizure, or even die while in motion. I keep telling myself and Mary that when he makes it to AZ, he will have the help he needs and he will recover. He will stabilize. He has been running a fever of 102 for three days, but refused to go to the ER and get stabilized before attempting this drive. He said that they would just keep him for hours on end, then release him with little to no relief. He might as well take the drive so that he can rest when he gets there. It’s only 12 hours, right? I keep thinking about myself in that MRI machine last night, and how the pain of the vibrations caused a flare, multiple mini panic attacks, and my whole body to tense up. I can’t stop thinking of him having to control such a large vehicle, the shaking, the movement, and everything that comes long with it and fear for his safety. For their safety. I am in wrecks.
Yet here I sit at the front desk, answering phones and auditing accounts. What else can I do? Go home and cry? I can do that tonight. It would be a very expensive cry, and I can’t afford it. I simply need to keep it together and tell myself that my brother, my stubborn bullheaded brother, can do this. That he will make it, and that he will arrive safely. But then what? His body is shutting down. He has a green color to his skin according to Mary, and he can barely move. Well, on the bright side, he is not jaundiced, so at least his kidneys are working ok, right? But what causes that to happen? I did a search and I found a few things, but this sounded like the most applicable.
Hypochromic anemia, once commonly known as chlorosis, is one potential cause of green skin. This condition results in the red blood cells lacking the normal level of hemoglobin that normally gives them their red color. Consequently, people with hypochromic anemia sometimes exhibit a green pallor to their skin. Other symptoms of the condition can include shortness of breath, headaches, and a lack of appetite, while potential causes include B6 deficiency, low iron absorption, certain types of infections, or even lead poisoning.
I am terrified for him. I cannot imagine losing my brother. I have not seen him in months, as I live almost an hour away, and when I do go to visit my sister and brother, David has always been somewhere else, or too sick to see me. He has been very ill, and not getting any better for the last 3 months. When I spoke with Mary today, she emphasized multiple times that he looked like he was going to die just from standing up and walking. That his body is shutting down, and she is scared that even if he wasn’t driving a Uhaul he would end up passing in the next day or two. I am trying to stay focused, but I needed to get this off my chest and share. It always makes me feel better to share. SO.. Now I am going to get back to work, and try not to think about the “ifs”. I want to think about the “whens”. When he makes it to AZ. When he gets into a Dr. When he gets into a specialist. When he starts recovery. When I can see him again. WHEN his baby is born.
WHEN… not if.